Nothing makes me happier than to find out I have a new niece or nephew on the way! I know it sounds strange, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a cool aunt. I had a cool aunt myself, the kind of who baked cookies and colored in coloring books with me, and bought me little gifts that brought a smile to my face.
I’ve always wanted to be that cool aunt for somebody else. Since Jeff and I are both only children, we’ll actually never have biological nieces and nephews. So when our friends started having kids, we were ALL OVER the honorary titles of “aunt” and “uncle.” We already have one sweet niece, and when our friends Laurie and Andy found out they were expecting a baby boy, we were thrilled, because that meant we’d have a nephew! Laurie’s sisters and mom put on a baby shower for her, and asked me if I would like to handle some of the desserts. Of course! Even better, Laurie requested two lemon desserts! For the sweet treats, I made cupcakes and mini lemon tarts. The Triple Citrus Cupcakes were so easy, they’re not even really a recipe. I used a box of white cake mix, and added the zest of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange to the cake batter. I topped the cupcakes with an easy homemade buttercream infused with lemon extract. Simple, yet special. Done. The Mini Meyer Lemon Tarts with Ginger Cookie Crust were just as easy. I stirred up a quick sugar cookie batter infused with lots of ground ginger. I pressed the batter into a mini muffin pan to make little tart cups. Then, I filled the cups with a Meyer lemon custard and baked the tarts off. Right before the party, I topped each of them with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, berries and mint leaves. While I was happy to contribute these simple desserts, the real stars of the show were the decorations and party setup that Laurie’s sisters and mom created. The whale theme was perfect for a baby boy, and the spread of salads, sandwiches and finger foods for lunch was to die for.
For the Ginger Cookie Crust:
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) room temperature unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
For the Meyer Lemon Filling:
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
For Topping & Decoration:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 24 blueberries and/or blackberries
- 24 small mint leaves
- Make the Ginger Cookie Crust: In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg; mix at medium speed until well combined. Add flour, ginger, baking powder and salt; mix at medium speed until just combined (do not overmix). Press dough into disc and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Make the Meyer Lemon Filling: In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, eggs, lemon juice, sugar and cream until smooth.
- Cut Ginger Cookie Crust into quarters; cut each quarter into 6 equal balls of dough. Press each ball of dough into mini muffin cup so that it is evenly distributed along sides and bottom. Divide Meyer Lemon Filling between cups, stopping just below top edge of crust.
- Transfer to oven and bake 8 to 11 minutes or until filling is set and crust is just begining to turn golden brown (do not overbake). Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, place cream in mixing bowl and beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon a dollop of whipped cream onto top of each tart. Decorate with blueberries and/or blackberries and mint leaves and serve immediately.